Emiliano Martínez saves two penalty kicks for Argentina vs. Ecuador in Copa America


Emiliano Martínez saved two pemnalty kicks for Argentina in their win vs. Ecuador in the quarter finals of the Copa America.

Martínez was the penalty kick hero for Argentina vs. Colombia in the semi finals of the 2021 Copa America, the penalty kick hero for Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final vs. France and he was the penalty kick hero for Argentina vs. Ecuador in the quarter finals of the 2024 Copa America in the United States.

A first half which saw Argentina have much of the ball but Ecuador creating more chances. An initial chance was poked away by Cristian Romero and minutes later, a big kick saveg by Emiliano Martinez.

Argentina would get their first real chance of the first half off a corner kick. A cross in by Lionel Messi and a flick by Alexis Mac Allister found Lisandro Martinez who headed the ball to give Argentina the 1-0 lead.

The second half started with Ecuador creating many chances and winning a penalty kick. Valencia took the penalty kick but it hit the post and went out.

Lionel Scaloni brought Julián Álvarez, Nicolás Otamendi, Gio Lo Celso in for Lautaro Martínez, Lisandro Martínez and Enzo Fernández.

In stoppage time, Ecuador would cross the ball into the penalty area and they would score a header to draw level. Scaloni would bring in Gonzalo Montiel for Nahuel Molina.

The match would go to penalty kicks and it was Lionel Messi who took the first penalty for Argentina. He tried a panenka but it hit the crossbar and went out.

Emiliano Martinez would prove to be the penalty kick hero once more for Argentina. Angel Mena would take Ecuador’s first penalty kick and Emiliano Martinez went to his left, saving the first penalty.

Julian Alvarez was the second penalty kick taker for Argentina and he would perfectly place it into the corner of the goal to score the first penalty.

Martinez was once more the hero. Alan Minda would take Ecuador’s second penalty and he would save it to give Argentina the 1-0 lead.

Alexis Mac Allister would take the penalty and he would put it into the side of the goal and score. John Yeboah scored for Ecuador.

Gonzalo Montiel scored his penalty as he did against France in the World Cup final. Jordy Caicedo took his penalty for Ecuador and Emiliano Martinez went the right way and just missed saving it.

Nicolas Otamendi took the last penalty and rolled it into the corner and Argentina won on penalty kicks.

Argentina will play Canada or Venezuela on Tuesday in the semi finals of the 2024 Copa America.


  1. Like most of us believed Molina isn’t relevant anymore in the NT set up.
    For the past 2 decades the only thing that has stood between Argentina and glory has been poor player selection. This squad is no different. 18 year old Kendry Paez has over 20 games under his belt same goes with so many young players in Europe, someone like Lamal would have at least 30 games for the NT when the 2026 World Cup comes around. But we would be lethargic and sentimental and carry unwanted baggage till the last min and scramble for quality in the last minutes. Likes of Enzo, Alexis, Julian all came with less than 10 matches together for the NT. Itwon’t Work all the time.
    Molina, Montiel, Acuna, Guido, Otamendi, Parades and Nico should be kept away from NT duties for good.

  2. Happy that we are through, but what was that performance?? Messi shouldn’t have started today even if he said he’s “fit”. It pained me to watch Messi play like this cause the CR7 fanboys will ride on this performance to say Messi is finished. I still believe he’s still one of our best players, but he needs to know how to conserve his energy. Playing 90 mins to put up this kind of performance when you’re still rubbing your thigh during the game just isn’t worth it, and it hurt the team too.
    The same could be said for Enzo. He’s still not at his best yet. He made so many floppy passes today. Worst part is that our midfield kept trying to play quick 1 pass even though the pitch was bad and they’re not in form. I could remember a good 15 minutes around the 60th minute when we couldn’t make 3 consecutive successful passes. Sometime, they even did this when the ball was still in our half. I don’t get the rush.
    Scaloni needs to stop blindly relying on his “favorites”. Yes, RDP, Enzo, Messi were crucial for us in the WC, but they’re not in good form. He had no problem benching Lautaro/Paredes during the WC despite their performances before that. Why not doing it now? And we have options too. Paredes/Palacios for Enzo and Di Maria for Messi if he’s still unfit for next match.
    Some good points for this game: Dibu, Macca, Licha are all beasts. It’s good to have more players we can rely upon to make the difference.

  3. I think only 2 change is required. Enzo out Paredes In. Nico out Di maria in. Even Palacios is better than Enzo currently.

  4. It looks like Arg played with one man short. I think Messi is just a walker in todays match. Scaloni aims just messis presence in front to panic ecudor. BUT Ecudor realized it in final minuts..scaloni did almost and luck helped him also

  5. Every coach whether Pep, Ancelotti or Klopp will have a bad day at office. This was Scaloni bad day.
    1. Starting an unfit Leo instead of Fideo is sign of favoritism. Messi was nowhere near himself.
    2. Macca is more effective playing in an advanced role that Enzo. Should have switched them within the game or replaced Enzo with either Paredes or Palacios. The midfield contribuion was nonexistent offensively. RDP was missing in action should have been subbed too.
    3. What did Licha do wrong to be ejected from the game. If Ota was going to form a 3-man backline, would have made sense instead it disrupted the chemistry.
    4. Release the youngsters in the physical matches.

    Other things, nothing to do with Scaloni.
    – The players – it seems no one wants to force errors up the pitch, and except for Leo and Fideo are the only attackers who can receive and hold/link up plays in tight spaces.

    Ecuador – were narrowly beaten in a friendly match, they were not going to roll over for the 2nd time in a few weeks period to the same opposition. That is just natural in football. The defeated will be more motivated than the winners. They did their homework. Argentine players usually do not fare well against physically athletic sides.

    The hunger- definitely disappointed by the level of performance by the overall team in general. It’s like players are not eager to win duels or force errors anymore. Release the old guard and unleash the hungry youth to prove themselves.

  6. Molina, Tagliafico, Enzo, DePaul, and Nico have been the team’s weak spots in this competition. To dominate in the semifinals, they need to be benched. Unfortunately, Scaloni is too bad to bench them.

  7. Guido Rodriguez needs to start the next match. He is by far the best cdm of the squad. He will bring physical presence and height to cover Lisandro at the back.

  8. 1)maradona
    3)emilano martinez
    If we list our top3 players ever will be my list from. Now on

    Emi is CLUTCH his nervous of steel has put him. To top of the list for me also i always belive its not HOW MUCH U SCORE HOW MUCH U SAVED,


  9. I watched this game live and my takeaways are:

    1. Messi is our Joe Biden now. If he is not fit, then he should be benched.

    2. DePaul and Molina had way too many turnovers. Our opponents will keep attacking them until we find a solution. My thought is to bench both and start Montiel and Paredes.

    3. Dibu saved us again! It’s easier to win tournament with a GK like him.

    • Messi will always claim he’s fit but he keeps rubbing his right thigh which means he hasnt fully healed from that first game injury.

      My biggest issue in this game is how our midfielders couldnt take away the ball from Ecuador players even when they’re not passing the ball. We made them looked stronger than Germany 2014.

  10. We had a worthy victory. It’s funny that there are fake people who think Messi shouldn’t play. Even though his physical condition is not at its best, just walking on the field is enough to lead Argentina to victory.

  11. Nico …flopped to the ground led to the equalizer. what the hell was he doing. Gifted ecuador with a free cross. He should have been there to defend against instead of fake injury rolling around.

    • He was trying to waste time but it backfired! And after they scored the whole team panicked , Ecuador grew more confident and almost scored with another header. Scaloni again got his substitutions wrong. Should hace subbed in Dimaria for Nico around 70mins and Loceslo right after half time for horrible Enzo who couldn’t hit a barn door to save his life.

      • This is what I dislike. I’m not sure if its down to Scaloni’s intruction or what , but we’re treble champions, we should try to put the game to bed instead of pulling Pekerman style defensive mode once we had the lead.

        We didnt play this way in CA 2021, we hit two more goals by putting in Di Maria and went for the kill. It ended 3-0 against same opponent. What’s the point of having speedy attacking wingers like Garnacho, Carboni and Angelito if you ended up playing defensively, trying to protect 1-0 lead.

    • Poor decision from Nico. Otherwise he had a decent game as a defensive midfielder. He helped Tagliafico. But in the end he made our lives miserable. We had to go through the penalties and Messi’s horrible miss. Anyway, it seems we, Argentina supporters, are born to suffer like this.

  12. What we need in second half is Di Maria, Carboni/Garnacho, Palacios but Scaloni gave us Otamendi and Lo Celso instead . I’m sure if there’s an ET, he’ll probably puts in Pezzella.

    The game against Colombia and Uruguay would be exactly like this but on steroid.

    • Forget about Colombia and Uruguay. Venezuela/ Canada match would not be different. They would play a high up pressing game and Scaloni would stick to his Enzos and Nicos. This was the most indecent win of our team since Scaloni took over. We played equally horrible against Uruguay, but we did not win.

      • If Paredes was benched by Enzo Fernandez, likewise in the qualifiers Scaloni should bring on likes Equi Fernandez, Varela and Santiago Hezze to bench non performing players like Enzo Fernandez and DePaul.
        But unfortunately that will not happen.
        I always said Enzo’s bad club form will affect his performance at national level.

  13. Lionel Scaloni: “I need to watch the match carefully, there are always things to improve. I will analyze it better later.

    “This time I didn’t enjoy anything. We are happy, of course, but this time I didn’t have a good time.”

    • We will see and i quess wish and hope for theese things as mentioned in many of comments not to happen again as hopefully this game finally opened up Scaloni’s eyes as maybe not so predictable, but still a very likely scenario was, that Ecuador nor any other team will sit back and park the bus also all the team’s knows that the pitches are really bad even, though same as for every team as also every team knows where ARG weakness lies etc…

      Well, Scaloni allways talks how ARG will aproach game according to the opponent by so making it difficult to the opponent, but in fact the quite opposite happened and i’m not sure if it is the first time, maybe or maybe not, but guarenteed Ecuador had planned the way they played and if i was kind of expecting it so should had ARG’s Coaching etc…

      Yes, kudos to Ecuador for choosing the exactly right tactics and mostly attack from ARG’s right side, but, that did not really surprise at all and i’m pretty sure every team who might be weaker on paper would do the exact same when playing against ARG as they know there lies their chance , but Uruguay and Colombia will play their own game and that is at very high level at the moment as i’m not saying Ecuador is bad team, no not at all, but not as good as Uruguay or Colombia, even the team in yellow would be licking their fingers without or lacking a middfield as also their defense maybe not so good as it used to as their only problem will be first Uruguay and maybe Colombia, but i still doubt them…

      Honestly i think Scaloni panicked , when he realized he should not had started Enzo nor MESSI and for first half i will forgive him, but not for the second

      As only Julian and Montiel should had been with Paredes or Palacios and also ADM and Garnacho should had been brought in as subs and MESSI Molina deffenetly out and later Nico and RDP

      Specially when it looked quite certain for Ecuador to score, but every sub came in wrong time and were hardly correct one’s too

      Scaloni should TaKe the note and stop while he can and truly think what will be best for team in every circumstance

      And if and when pitches will keep as bad as they been …, well maybe better to keep TORO up front as target as looked like DIBU can truly also pass the ball up front with accuracy and TORO can hold on and hopefully get support from faster players with legs to run

      So even to basics and to English style and more direct towards goal with pace would maybe suit ARG better as Scaloni’s vertical tiki-taka aint clearly working on theese pitches, lol !

      What a mess indeed and we are talkin about COPA AMERICA and not about some friendly youth tournament as now i finally get it why ii is called soccer instead of football, lol !

      Funny, though, that other team’s manage to play much more decent way, lol !

      Scaloni has a job ahead and certainly some thinking to do and hopefully he get it right in time, but i doubt he will drop MESSI from starting as he has said many times before COPA selection as only MESSI has a guaranteed spot in the squad, lol!

      Might just start with Armani and Pezzella, lol!

      Sorry for bad sarcasm, but very disapointed overall as hopefully things will improve for ARG, because many good players not really getting their chances even ADM did not get a single minute and hope to see him before he retires

  14. I have two serious question :
    1)Why didnt scaloni use di maria?
    2)Is there any Argentine player who got more chance like Nico gonzalez?

  15. If Messi says he feels fit to play Scaloni will never say No. Additionally, in training Messi must have given enough indication that he recovered from the muscle strain however he wasn’t obviously match fit at all. This is worst Messi performance I have ever witnessed. Yes, his finishing has gone down hill but he is still the best playmaker out there but today he hardly touched the ball in the first half let alone make passes. This was the reason why we struggled to even string three passes together and got completely outplayed. To everyone’s surprise Ecuador came out with an attack mindset to put one in the back of the net as early as possible but again couldn’t pass Dibu.

    Scaloni must have thought they would sit deep and park the bus which is why he played Enzo who is clearly far from his best after his recent surgery. We have two more matches to go and there is no way he plays ahead of Locelso and Parades in this competition. Additionally, Scaloni still hasn’t learned anything from his poor substitutions. He just wasted Dimaria on the bench, should have subbed him in for Nico after 70 mins mark to finish the game and also taken out poor Enzo right after half time break for Locelso. Instead he went full defensive and tried to defend 1 goal lead and almost paid the price if it wasn’t for heroics of Emi.

    • In physical game like this, the addition of young players after an hour mark would have been useful. Carboni and Garnacho could have been useful against tired legs, not just Di Maria. Palacios should have replaced RDP.

  16. This is the first time I came to know that otamendi is so adept in penalty taking.. god oh my god i have my heart in my mouth when i saw him stepping up for the penalty..

  17. IMO after this Tournament we should base on the following players to recruit new blood .
    GK Dibu for sure
    Defense Romero ,Lisandro Martinez,Martinez Quarta,Molina
    Midfield :Mcallister, Lo celso ,Valentin Carboni ,De Paul
    Wingers Nico Gonzalez ,Garnacho
    Striker : Lautaro Alvarez

    New Blood
    Defense: N Perez ,Senesi ,Esquivel (Brazil league),Balerdi ,Francisco Ortega or Santiago Simon,Franco Carboni

    Midfield :Cristian Medina ,Equi Fernandez ,Nico Paz ,Santiago Hezze

    Wingers: Zeballos ,Benjamin Garre, Mastantuano ,Soule

    Striker : inject more heights ,Gaich or Veliz

  18. Nowadays there are lesser differences between national teams .You see the Japanese, Iran ,Africans
    We had won the triple crowns Copa America ,World Cup and Euro America Cup .That doesnts mean we are good enough ,we should move forward, inject new blood ,new tactics

    If we finally win the tournament ,I would say it is the best time for messi and his old friends to leave .

  19. Macca, Julian and Ota penalties were just perfects, Montiel smart, Messi tricky but unlucky. None of them choosed the obvious choice based of their prefered foots where a shooter can hit the penalty much harder, its physics. 100% shooting accuracy is needed for these weak side shoots with good GK direction. Very hard.

  20. Poor performance but lucky enough .Dibu is the best GK in history for sure .

    Few things need to be addressed no matter the result of this tournament.
    1, New blood for sure
    2, Messi and others old man Probably needs to consider the time to step down
    3, preparing for another coach in case scaloni leave

  21. This will be our wake up call, Scaloni will do the changes based on form and profiles. In semi Emi Acuna (if fit) Cuti Licha Montiel Macca Paredes De Paul Di Maria/Garnacho Julian Messi

  22. We were terrible today, Messi is clearly unfit. We played like we were a man down. Our midfield could not take control of the game. Only because of the best ever GK we are still in it. We get to live another day and even this team should be able to at least barely beat Venezuela or Canada, but if we make it to the final playing like this, we will lose for sure.

  23. Few things to say:
    The team performed badly from the get go, which is GOOD for the future so they won’t play like they did tonight.
    DEBU, enough said.
    I said this MANY times before and i was hoping I didn’t have to say it, Messi is back to being CUTE while taking PKs and again which is good so he doesn’t do it again like he did in the WC.
    A sign of a good team is winning even when playing bad as they did tonight.
    I might sound like a broken record but playing on this bullshit synthetic turf is BAD and you can see how their passes were way off from the start.
    Sit, relax and rest for the next game.

  24. Lucky to win this game. Dibu saved it for us… Looks like our players has lost
    a desire to win the tournament. Scaloni always lacks plan B in tough situations – Pre meditative substitutions and no ‘on game’ strategy will cost us once our luck runs out.
    This could have easily been a retirement day for di maria… C’mon wake up!!!

  25. Yes, we are lucky. I do hope that this Copa is the last for players like Otamendi, Pezzela.
    DePaul needs to come from the bench as he disrupts are play more than the opposition these days. Scaloni did antics after the 70th minute mark with poor subs as he did in the World Cup. If anyone remembers, he did that in the last Copa putting in Pezzela and Colombia almost beat us just right before penalties. Scaloni is a lucky manager. Pep said it best, “Lisandro is a top 5 best defender in the world”. We do not score 3-4 goals anymore, but we are lucky.

    Maybe I’ll add luck is what champions always have. They always find a way to win. Bad teams find a way to lose. This is the positive note I’ll take from all of this. Anyways, love to all Argentine fans worldwide – Vamos Argentina!

  26. Argentina played terribly because of Scaloni. He always changes the lineup and keeps better players on the bench in favor of his favorites. He needs to go after the Copa.

  27. All the big teams can struggle so did Argentina. We have won that matters. I have seen lot of games in my 43 years of age that Argentina played extra ordinary but lost. So nice football or eye pleasing football not required if we won. Yes today we played bad football hope this is the last. Scalony should try to find some physical player for this kind of games as Ecuador, Colombia and Uruguay always play physical football against us and we always suffer against physicality. Lets enjoy.

  28. Scaloni is a horrible head coach. His player selection and lineup decisions are consistently questionable. He should have resigned after the World Cup final. This team needs an infusion of new, young talent.

    • There’s clearly something wrong with your vision. Let’s see Palacious, Alvarez, Li. Martinez, Gonzalez, Molina, Mac Alister, Enzo Fernandez (all 26 or younger) Garnacho, Carboni (20 or younger) I guess these guys aren’t young enough for you? What did the young USA team accomplish? You think just having all young players is a magic answer? Enzo played and made many questionable decisions. Garnacho played the last match and barely did anything.

      Besides, when you make changes they need to be gradual and not rapid because it destabilizes a working structure. You can see Otamendi is slowing being replaced by Lisandro Martinez.

  29. There is a lot of should haves that took place.
    But we won… I almost had a heart attack this evening.
    Yes Messi didn’t perform, yes depaul was barely in it, yes licha should not have been subbed, yes Alvarez should have started…
    But we won and we now have another date in this competition. Thank God

  30. We were so lucky we have got awy with one ecuador was much better team than us , messi is getting greedy now he should never play this match clearly he wasn’t even fit 50% only dibu and MacAllister have played well

    • Even at 50%, Messi is still miles better than anyone on this Argentina squad. Scaloni should be blamed for his terrible lineup. Lautaro, Nico, and Enzo have no business being in the lineup.

      • I love Messi too and he will go down as the greatest of all time, but your comment is not correct. A player that can’t run, and you can clearly see he is very injured has no business playing 90 minutes. He shit the bed against Canada, and now today he almost cost us. He gets dispossessed more easily now also. We all want Argentina to win first, nor matter who lines up. But Father Time is undefeated. He is old. He is fantastic for 30 minutes, but gimme a break the guy is a shadow of the player he was 6 years ago.

      • Yes I think so as well. But it would have been good to give some minutes to Fideo as well. When the main creative engine of the team is struggling at 30 percent fitness, and then you have dismissed a playmaker like Paulito from the squad, to top that the midfield is completely lacking any form of orchestration, what was the harm in bringing on Fideo is what I don’t understand. He should be playing every match, now that we know Copa is his last. Of course manage his minutes judicially and not the 90 minutes in entirety, but for the love of God, play him atleast for 20-25 minutes. We completely stopped playing in the second half, forget about possession, there were no attempts at quick transition or breaking the possession either. You have a profile like that in Paro who can break possessions, and has been in good rhythm and form yet this perseverance with the boy wonder Enzo just continues. Enzo was just pathetic, thrusting into the second striker role at times with such poor finishing and decision making(while Toro and Leo were open) while Macca was loitering in a 5 role, in spite of the fact that he is more effective upfront.

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